Battle of Providien

The battle was the second of a series of four actions during the American War of Independence (1775-83)

 

On 12th April Vice Admiral Hughes with 11 ships-of-the-line, on board the flagship HMS Superb, was reinforcing Trincomalee in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) which had been captured earlier in the year.

 

The French Admiral Suffren with 12 French ships-of-the-line encountered the British, while they were on a lee shore, 12 miles NE by E of Providien rock of the east coast of the island.

 

During the battle the British HMS Monmouth was carronaded almost to a wreck, but refused to strike her colours.

 

Each side suffered about 500 casualties and the fighting continued until both were exhausted. They then anchored for the night, and next morning neither side wanted to continue the action.

 

They lay in sight of each other for a week, when the French sailed north and the British sailed south for Trincomalee.

 

HM Ships

Combustion,  Eagle,  Exeter,  Hero,  Magnanime,  Monarca,  Monmouth,  Seahorse,  Superb & Worcester